Many business owners and webmasters focus on driving traffic to their websites but few practices deliver a higher return on investment that the science of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).
CRO is all about making the most of the traffic that your website receives. By designing and/or adjusting elements of the website to create a better User Experience (UX) CRO looks to ensure that the highest possible percentage of visitors; take a desired action.
The ‘desired action’ may be to submit a form or to make a call to your business directly from the website. These actions are usually referred to as “conversions” and can be broken down further into “macro conversions” which are the more important ones – such as a form submission, and “micro-conversions” such as signing up to a newsletter or following one of your social media accounts.
In order to track how successful your CRO efforts are, it is best to set up a Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager account. You can use Google Analytics to monitor the volume and the quality of your traffic/visitors, whilst Google Tag Manager provides the most efficient way to track your conversions, such as form completions.
To easily make changes to the design of your website, it’s also recommended that you use a CRO platform such as Google Optimize or VWO.
Below we provide an overview of which elements of your website you can alter and optimize to generate more leads per visitor for your legal practice.
If your website takes more than 5 seconds to load, then the majority of your visitors – especially those on a mobile device, will leave and go to a competitor.
Site speed is also a confirmed Google ranking, so it is really important to make sure that your site loads quickly and that it is optimised for mobile devices.
The most common reason that a website takes too long to load is that the images have not been resized and compressed before they have been added to the specific webpage.
The other methods of enhancing your site’s speed are quite technical and include things such as “minimising Http requests” and adding a “cache-control header” – for a full rundown see this blog post.
Social proofing is the concept that people are more likely to take a particular action, if other people recommended or appear to recommend doing so.
For example, if my friend recommends a builder he has used, I am much more likely to hire that particular builder. When friends are not available to make a recommendation, user reviews are nearly as convincing.
88% of people in a recent study, stated that they trust user reviews as much as they do recommendations from friends.
User reviews are just one form of social proof, others include user testimonials, case studies and industry figure’s recommendations.
To make the most of social proofing, ensure that you get as many positive reviews as possible from on your Google My Business profile and a third party platform such as Trustpilot.
Once you are signed up to Trustpilot (free accounts are available), you can invite specific customers via email – to give you a review. When you have a respectable number of reviews, you can use the Trustpilot widget to place the average review-score on your website.
It is recommended that you pace your review score ‘above the fold’, near the top of your website so that people will see it as soon as the website loads.
Other social proofing and trust metrics such as award badges and governing body logos should also be placed in a prominent position if they do not clutter the design too much.
Ensure that Your Site has an SSL Certificate
An SSL certificate is a piece of code that is added to your website to encrypt the transfer of data and information. SSL certificates are very important for legal websites as they inspire a sense of trust. The padlock icon in the browser’s address bar is often replaced with a warning if an SSL is not present – this makes visitors much less likely to submit any personal information; it can also give a bad impression of the firm’s brand – “if they can’t secure their website, can I trust them with my legal case?”
Use Subheadings & Bullet Points
Although Google tends to prefer long content, people will tend to scan any copy on your pages. With this in mind, it’s important to make any copy on your website’s main pages (as opposed to blog pages) as easy to read as possible.
Using subheadings and bullet points is the best way to split out the text and make it easier to interpret.
Use Imagery & Quotes
Although it is recommended to have a fair amount of text on most of your pages – to let Google know what the pages are about, the use of imagery and quotes is a great way to provide information to your visitors.
The phrase “a picture speaks a thousand words” has never been more appropriate. Ensure that images are the highest quality possible, without damaging site speed. It is also important to make images look genuine, using images that are obviously taken from stock-photo websites will damage the credibility of your site and brand. In turn, this will make people less likely to submit their personal information via a form completion.
The Paradox of Choice
Don’t give people too much choice – it can be overwhelming. Keep your website clean and uncluttered and give people are a clear journey to follow.
For example, you may offer dozens of legal services, but research suggests giving people more than 7 options to choose from can lead to ‘analysis paralysis’. It is often best to keep the website’s homepage as simple as possible, with trust metrics and reviews near the top of the page, and a strong call to action such as “Call Us Today” also near the top of the website.
A contact form or “Contact Us” Call to Action that leads to a contact form should also be placed near the top of the website if the design allows it. Rather than listing all of your services, some law firms prefer to list the most popular services or create a “popular services” submenu.
Use Statistics & Data
Another way to inspire trust is to quantify success with statistics. Use data relating to the success of your firm, such as the percentage of cases won, the amount of money people have saved and/or the percentage of satisfied customers.
Support Unique Selling Points with Strong Selling Points
Finding your Unique Selling Point (USP) can form the key message behind much of your marketing. It can also help drive more conversions on your website. Take a look at your team’s experience, areas of expertise and qualifications. Again you could use statistics to serve as your unique selling point and/or Strong Selling Point (SSP). Your business ethics, your value or the awards you have won could form your USP or SSP.
Keep your selling points short and sweet and be sure to include them in your website’s copy.
Use Clear CTAs & Avoid Distracting Clutter
CTA stands for “Call to Action.” CTA buttons are a major element of CRO. Ensure that the CTA button actually looks like a clickable button and ensure that the text is appropriate too.
For example “Call Us Today” might be used on a CTA button that generates a phone call, or “Submit” might be a good CTA to have at the bottom of a contact form. Test the location of the CTA buttons, the text and the colors.
Add Live Chat
Another way to provide a better user experience is to give the option of live chat. It’s possible that live chat can be annoying for some people and feel intrusive, however live chat can actually provide valuable feedback about your UX.
For example, if people are struggling to find specific information on your website – they will probably ask the live chat agent on a regular basis. You can use this information to modify your site and make regular improvements.
Test Everything & Make Data-Driven-Decisions
Use your CRO platform (such as Google Optimize) to tweak and test everything. Opinions might be important when it comes to generating ideas about how to design your website and what to change and test, but you can use data to decide what color, text, form etc performs the best.